In the US, Alabama is just one of the few states that have the highest incarceration rate. However, it only spends about one third of what other states spend for incarceration cost. In most states, the usual amount that the government spends to keep an inmate behind bars amounts to $30,000, but Alabama spends more or less $9,000.
Population explosion in Alabama jails transpired over the last 30 years with a population hitting a 600% increase. However, this figure does not seem to affect the incarceration cost of the state because unlike others, Alabama did not really plan in the sudden boom of incarcerations that it felt over the course of time.
The incarceration cost of inmates is usually classified into whether the inmate is state inmate or community inmate. This classification seems to have created that gray area because community (or county) inmates are less expensive than state inmates. That is because they serve time in jail for small crimes so high level security is not really essential. You can't expect these people to bust their cells and risk new escape charges when their actual sentence can't even go beyond a year or so.
In terms of figures, a state inmate may cost as high as $25 per day while $10 is allotted for a community inmate. If they are already out on probation or in parole, the amount is dramatically decreased to $2 per parolee a day.
Mainly due to its high incarceration rate, Alabama is very tough on crimes that they can impose harsh minimum penalties to address the growing problem on drugs. Instead of fully addressing the problem, this scheme has somehow created a new dimension of problems where inmates find themselves unable to get out of harsh sentences that cannot be reduced.
In Alabama, the key to defend yourself from facing harsh sentences is to get yourself a good attorney who can represent you with competence.